A discussion on the implementation of employee development as a HRM function by Google Inc (U23566)


A discussion on the implementation of employee development as a HRM function by Google Inc (U23566)

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Google Inc is a multinational corporation that focuses in internet-related products and services. The firm was founded in 1998 and started off by offering internet search engine services to currently being the world’s largest internet search services provider and offering a range of other top online and offline products (, 2015). Currently also, the company boasts of being among the best organisations to work for worldwide (Casserly, 2012). The main reason behind the desire by many to work at Google Inc is that it arguably has the best to offer in terms of employee training and development. According to Krausert (2009), employee development refers to the process under which an organisation recruits new talents, induces them into the culture of the organisation, equips them with skills, knowledge, attitudes and motives which consequently increases their value to the organisation. This essay discusses employee development at Google Inc.

Training and continued learning

One of the major aspects of employee development is training and continued learning. As research evidences, training is an important factor in shaping the attitudes of employees and ultimately has an impact on the level of job satisfaction (Latif, Shaheen and Jan, 2013). In respect to this, Google Inc runs an in-house program named ‘GoogleEDU’ that is intended to train employees on contemporary issues about their jobs and help them focus on profit humming (Walker, 2012). This program incorporates everyone in the firm – managers, junior developers and engineers – and more than a third of its 33,100 workforce is already enrolled in the program.

According to Walker (2012), the firm observes a reverse hierarchical management style meaning that what employees learn is often from their own suggestions to managers and not dictated from the top management. Additionally, their training system is focused on individual appraisal in that it reaches out to employees in the context of their areas of specialization, for example, engineers receive different training from the sales team and the junior developers receive different training from the senior managers (Walker, 2012). The result is a more knowledgeable team as opposed to when these trainings are done in a general sense. Furthermore, to ensure that the learnt material is applied, Google Inc engages employees in annual and other periodical reviews that involve filling out reviews of managers to determine whether they applied new knowledge on the job. The overall impact of training is that it eliminates the fear of employee turnover and has improved job satisfaction levels and Google (Walker, 2012).

Development through motivation

Another critical aspect of employee development is motivation and as Kuvaas and Dysvik (2009) note, there is a perceived relationship between motivation, employee development and work performance.  Employee motivation is centered on creating an internal desire for employees to work on their own accord and to want to do their job. Motivation is the underlying driver of an engaged and productive workforce. In fact, motivation fits in employee training and development because it creates a change of attitude towards a particular job (Scheers and Botha, 2014). Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation deals with internal or immediate personal needs, for example, recognition and achievement, whilst extrinsic motivation deals with monetary compensation (Neely, 2007).

Google Inc as part of their employee development programs uses a philosophy of creating the happiest and most productive workplace in the world which consequently leads to employee motivation. Firstly, the workplace conditions are favourable enough for any of the employees to free learn and share new skills. For, example employees are allowed to design their work stations to their own satisfaction – with some incorporating personal effects. Secondly, employees are offered a range of perks that undeniably contribute to their level of happiness (Stewart, 2013). Some of the renowned perks for Google include free food and drinks, medication facilities on the job, on-site health professionals that advice on nutrition and a fitness and massage center on every floor of their offices (Hackett, 2013).

Moreover, through their “gThanks” program, employees receive recognition, feedback and peer bonuses based on the efforts that they have expelled. This program, as described by one of the employees, shows a genuine concern on the part of the company to invest in the development of employees and retention of the finest talents that they have (Hackett, 2014). Moreover, as Walker (2012) notes, it is hard to come by the right people so when the firm gets them, it focuses on getting them to their full potential On extrinsic motivation, which is about monetary compensation, Google Inc’s average programmers make more money than thrice of what an average American makes yearly. The firm pays an average of $ 100,000 in a year whilst an average American earns $27,000 (Emerson, 2012). In addition to this, in case an employee of the internet giant dies, their immediate relative is offered half-their pat for the next decade. This is meant to help the employee create a perfect work-family-life balance (Smith, 2012).

Internal programs and structures fostering development

The “grow” program is Google’s internal program intended to make employees foster their professional development by presenting them with opportunities, resources and careers advice needed. Employees become equipped with the knowledge on how to transcend work obstacles and how to manage their performance towards senior positions. In this sense Google allows employees to work-out their own progress within the firm and thus avoiding undue pressures. An important aspect to note also is that promotions towards managerial positions are based on reviews by fellow employees and the management and are therefore fair ( Hackett, 2014).

Lastly, as a way of improving creativity, skill and knowledge sharing and development, Google has designed its offices and structures in a way that managers cannot arbitrarily issue commands to juniors and secondly that foster free interactions between all the staff. For example, the offices spot and open plan which removes psychological barriers of interaction (Stewart, 2013).. The open plan created more ways of interaction and of sharpening knowledge and skills and led to innovations such as Google Art Project and improvement of the Ad sense and Ad word adverting platforms. To further improve interactions, the firm allows the informal work culture which makes talking (communication) easier (Stewart, 2013).


Casserly, M. (2012) Dream Companies For The Class Of 2012: Everybody Wants To Work At Google. [online] Forbes. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2015].

Emerson, R. (2012) High-Tech Toilets, Free Haircuts And More: The Top 7 Perks Google Offers Employees. [online] The Huffington Post. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2015]., (2015) Our products and services – Company – Google. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2015].

Hackett, R. (2014) The 25 Best Global Companies to Work For. [online] Fortune. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2015].

Krausert, A. (2009) Performance Management for Different Employee Groups: A Contribution to Employment Systems Theory. Berlin, Germany: Springer Science & Business Media.

Kuvaas, B. and Dysvik, A. (2009) ‘Perceived investment in employee development, intrinsic motivation and work performance’, Human Resource Management Journal, 19(3), pp.217-236.

Latif, K., Shaheen, N. and Jan, S. (2013) ‘Association of Training Satisfaction with Employee Development aspect of Job Satisfaction’, Journal of Managerial Sciences, 6(1), pp.51-56.

Neely, A. (2007) Business Performance Measurement: Unifying Theory and Integrating Practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Scheers, L. and Botha, J. (2014) ‘Analysing relationship between employee job satisfaction and motivation’, Journal of Business and Retail Management Research, 9(1), pp.98-109.

Smith, J. (2012) The Companies With The Biggest Jumps In Employee Happiness. [online] Forbes. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2015].

Stewart, J. (2013) At Google, a Place to Work and Play. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2015].

Walker, J. (2012) School’s in Session at Google. [online] WSJ. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2015].

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